Immigration Comedy Feature Film FOR HERE OR TO GO? to have Canadian Premiere at IFFSA Toronto

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Silicon Valley-set feature film on immigration in America stars Bollywood heartthrob Ali Fazal in his first English-language lead, fresh off cameo in Furious 7 travels across the border for its Canadian Premiere

Like many individuals faced by the realities of America’s troubled immigration system, Silicon Valley-set feature film For Here or To Go? is heading to Canada. After a World Premiere at San Jose’s CINEQUEST, just voted the #1 film festival by USA Today readers, For Here or To Go? has its Canada Premiere at the International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA) in Toronto, which is the biggest South Asian film festival in North America. The film had three sold out screenings & was selected for an encore at Cinequest, watch audience response:

For Here or To Go? is the story of Vivek Pandit, an aspiring Indian tech entrepreneur who is poised to become a key hire at a promising healthcare startup, but when the potential employers realize his work visa has less than a year remaining, the offer disappears. As Vivek struggles to find a way to extend his visa, the film finds lighthearted humor in the bizarre circumstances that make up the reality of life for a “temporary alien worker” – such as engineers who drive BMWs but don’t buy living room furniture, knowing they must always be ready to pack and leave.

At the time the script was being completed, a prominent billboard near San Francisco International Airport appealed to the population of tech workers in limbo, “H1-B Problems? PIVOT to CANADA.” Indeed, Canada was the world’s first country to establish a Start-Up Visa, which has been discussed in America for years and still has yet to be implemented.

In November 2014, President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform included a call to action for Congress to resolve the real-life issues highlighted in the film, which is endorsed by high-profile members of the tech community such as Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger and Vivek Wadhwa, author of The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent.

While conversations on the issue of high-skilled reform have been sparked anew in Congress, there is no set timeline and no guarantee that this time will be any different from the talks of reform that have come in waves since the tech boom.

For Here or To Go? is in a position to leverage its humor and charming cast into a global conversation-starter that is relatable to anyone who leaves their home in pursuit of a better life. The independent film benefits from a solid cast who have united to put a human face to a too-often political conversation.

Ali Fazal propels the film in the lead role of Vivek Pandit, hot off a cameo role in Furious 7 but well known to Bollywood audiences from hit films like 3 Idiots and Fukrey. His romantic interest is played by the beautiful Melanie Kannokada, who appears next in HBO’s The Brink with Jack Black. Joining the ensemble are National Award-winner Rajit Kapur (The Making of the Mahatma), brilliant newcomer Amitosh Nagpal (Besharam), and beloved character actors Omi Vaidya (3 Idiots, The Office) & Samrat Chakrabarti (Midnight’s Children, 30 Rock)

Directed by first-time filmmakers, director Rucha Humnabadkar & Writer/Producer Rishi S Bhilawadikar, "For Here or To Go?" is the first of its kind: a slice of life capturing the zeitgeist as told first-hand by Indian immigrants with day jobs living and working on employer visas in the Bay Area tech community, who continue to find the course of their & millions of other lives deeply impacted by America's immigration policy.

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Primary Contact:
Rishi Bhilawadikar, Writer & Producer

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